17 July 2001
FWi users back public inquiry
By FWi staff
FWi users have given resounding support to calls for a public inquiry into the foot-and-mouth crisis in early results of our website poll.
Some 136 votes were submitted within hours of the poll opening on FWi on Monday (16 July), asking if there should be a public inquiry.
Of these 134 backed a full public inquiry, with only two opposing the idea.
Click here to vote
Calls for a public inquiry are being backed by FARMERS WEEKLY, and “Yes” votes in the poll – plus readers comments – will be forwarded to Tony Blair.
Debate has raged over the issue, with most rural groups calling for a full public inquiry to look at the causes and lessons to be learned from the outbreak.
Opposition to a public inquiry has come from the National Farmers Union, which argues that a speedy, independent inquiry is preferable.
FWi users can have their say on whether there should be a full public inquiry into the foot-and-mouth crisis by clicking here.
Meanwhile, The Daily Telegraph reports that 100 people who took part in foot-and-mouth culling and clear up operations are to be prosecuted for alleged fraud.
This follows swoops on 74 farms in Cumbria by teams from the Department of Work and Pensions.
It is alleged that workers earning up to 10 an hour since the epidemic began in February were also claiming benefits.
The Guardian profiles “forgotten farmers” who complain of bullying and cruelty by staff from the now defunct Ministry of Agriculture during culling.
They are also furious that the movement of people is being blamed for recent flare-ups as the tail of the outbreak persists.
The newspaper portrays a nightmare scenario if the disease is not eradicated before autumn, when weather conditions make it more likely to spread.
“On the ground there is a growing belief that it is now effectively endemic,” claims The Guardian.
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